The nccrc's mission


To ensure individuals have a right to effective counsel when facing the loss of their basic human needs in the civil legal system.  We work nationally to accomplish this by:

  • Envisioning and advocating for the right to counsel:
    • Supporting, connecting, and coordinating federal, state, and local efforts to a) enact, litigate, implement, and evaluate right to counsel programs; and b) engage in social science research projects that demonstrate the impact of counsel;
    • Establishing guidelines and best practices;
    • Identifying and supporting a variety of funding sources for the right to counsel;
    • Growing and diversifying our participant and partner base so as to help grow the larger national movement;
    • Responding to dangers to the movement while facilitating work to plan its future.
  • Educating about the right to counsel:
    • Tracking and reporting on right to counsel litigation, legislation, education, and social science research efforts around the country;
    • Maintaining a comprehensive right to counsel research repository and status map;
    • Planning and/or presenting at convenings, educational sessions, and public events, and speaking with the media, in order to raise awareness / understanding of, and enthusiasm for, the right to counsel.


Our vision and reasons for engaging in this work


We envision a world where all 50 states and the District of Columbia adopt and effectively implement an enforceable right to high-quality, fully funded, client-directed counsel for people in civil cases who are facing the loss of their basic human needs, thus moving towards reversing systemic disempowerment and unfairness, restoring faith in the system, and advancing equal justice.  


We engage in this work because the right to full representation by an attorney is an evidence-based approach that promotes actual systems change.  It enables people to enforce their rights and protect their basic human needs while helping to effectuate the laws that have been passed to protect people.  It helps to redistribute power.  It works towards restoring confidence in the justice system.  It advances race equity by providing one form of relief to Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities disproportionately harmed by, and entangled in, a civil justice system rooted in systemic racism.  And it rejects the scarcity-based operations of legal services while advancing long-term fiscal responsibility.  

The NCCRC at a glance


The NCCRC, establsihed in 2003 and funded in part by the Public Justice Center (PJC), has over 600 participants and partners in 45 states (see our interactive map's "NCCRC Presence" view to see where they are), all of whom are committed to exploring how the right to counsel in civil cases can best be advanced in their particular jurisdiction.


To learn more about the recent work that NCCRC has been involved with, check out our 2022: A Year in Review, and the spread about the NCCRC in the Public Justice Center's FY22 Annual Report.  For the NCCRC's history, check out this Retrospective on the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel, penned by John Pollock and Mary Deutsch Schneider back in 2013, when the NCCRC had just turned 10.


The NCCRC in the media


Before COVID-19 we worked in 2019 to have the right to counsel included in eviction stories by City Limits, Bloomberg Cities, Forbes, Indiana Lawyer, Next City, Detroit News, and the Wall Street Journal.  Since COVID-19 we have managed to keep the press focused on the issue in stories in Marketplace (twice), CNBC, Washington Post, Business Journal, Law360, TruthoutMarketWatchNew Republic, The Appeal, Law360, and Buzzfeed News, US News, The Hill,Seattle Times,Business Insider, Public News Service, and Connecticut MirrorAnd we co-authored an article in Newsweek and authored pieces in The Hill and The Appeal about the steps states need to take to end the COVID-19 eviction crisis, including the right to counsel.


Reuters, Bloomberg, CNBC, ABC News, Christian Science Monitor, Fast Company, International Business Times, Bloomberg Cities, Brooklyn Eagle, Statehouse Report (South Carolina), Rock Hill Herald (South Carolina), Alexandria Gazette, and KTVU Fox2 (San Francisco) have all flagged or utilized the eviction prediction tool we helped Stout develop.



JP photo 2021John Pollock (he/him) has been the Coordinator of the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel since 2009. He was the recipient of NLADA's 2018 Innovations in Civil Justice Award.  He is the author of a number of law review articles, including Appointment of Counsel for Civil Litigants: A Judicial Path to Ensuring the Fair and Ethical Administration of Justice, Court Review, Vol. 56 Issue 1 (2020), The Case Against Case-By-Case: Courts Identifying Categorical Rights to Counsel in Basic Human Needs Civil Cases, 61 Drake L.J. 763 (Spring 2013), and It’s Not Triage if the Patient Bleeds Out, 161 U. Penn. L.R. 40 (2012).  Previously, he was the Enforcement Director at the Central Alabama Fair Housing Center, and before that was a fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center. He graduated from Northeastern University School of Law and from Wesleyan University.


Maria Roumiantseva photoMaria Roumiantseva (she/her) is the Associate Coordinator of the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel. Prior to joining NCCRC in February 2020, Maria was a Staff Attorney for Legal Services of Central New York, Inc. (LSCNY), based primarily in Binghamton, New York. In that role, she provided direct legal services in a variety of civil practice areas, including eviction defense for income-eligible clients. Before LSCNY, Maria was an Attorney for Children with the Legal Aid Society, Juvenile Rights Practice in Brooklyn, New York, for four years. In that role, she represented children involved with the child welfare system. Maria graduated from Montclair State University in 2010 and the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law in 2013.


Amanda Insalaco photo

Amanda Insalaco (they / them / theirs / Mx) is the NCCRC's Legal Research Specialist Before joining the NCCRC in February 2022, Amanda was an Equal Justice Works Fellow at the Center for Disability & Elder Law (CDEL) where they implemented the Housing Preservation Project and handled a variety of other civil matters. As Fellow, Amanda provided outreach presentations to hundreds of senior homeowners and trained and supervised pro bono volunteers who provided almost 400 legal services for estate planning, title searches, and property tax exemptions, with the goal of increasing housing stability, affordability, and the intergenerational transfer of wealth. Amanda graduated cum laude from DePaul University College of Law in May of 2019 and summa cum laude from Northern Illinois University in May of 2014 with a degree in Community Leadership and Civic Engagement.

Amanda enjoys cooking for loved ones, sewing, listening to the spoken word of Ivan Coyote, and hanging out with their dog, Harry.

Steering Committee

Susanna Blankley


Zoe Brennan-Krohn


Russell Engler

New England Law | Boston

Pablo Estupiñan


Debra Gardner

Public Justice Center

Danny Greenberg

Experience Justice

Alan Houseman

National Equal justice Library

Earl Johnson

Western Center on Law and Poverty

Ainat Margalit


Clare Pastore

USC Gould School of Law

Debi Perluss

Equal justice leader/Consultant

Rasheedah Phillips


Hazel Remesch

Legal Aid Society of Cleveland

Andrew Scherer

New York Law School

Radhika Singh


Jayne Tyrrell


David Udell

National Center for Access to Justice at Fordham University School of Law

Natalece Washington